By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe—The Government of the Republic of China on Tuesday 20 November donated in cash transfer US 2 million dollars bilateral aid to Tongogara Refugee Camp. The camp is in Chipinge , Manicaland Province , 500 kilometres away from Harare to the south east . The amount according to China’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor to Zimbabwe is meant for buying food-stuffs to sustain families at the camp.
The camp with a total of 12,000 refugees was almost dry after dwindling of food provision. There is a total of 12,000 refugees from Mozambique and the Republic of Congo. China’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor Chen Ning said the need to give cash transfer support is meant to make families have access to food.
‘’Families here need food and basic needs support. We have done this also to strengthen our good relations with Zimbabwe. This follows the footprints of the look East policy which we still support. There are also plans in the future to support Health and Agriculture.
‘’We shall in the near future donate drugs to save the lives of the people. The other area of support is Agriculture. There is need to promote food security in order to eradicate hunger. In other words we have to provide farming inputs to the people at the camp.’’
World Food Program gives US13 per person to over 12, 000 of these refugees at the camp. World Food Program, Deputy Director Niels Balzer said World Food Program also considers the fact that some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa are severely impacted by Climate –Change. The issue of climate impacts families already in economic challenges. He further said climate change and variation caused by global warming increase food insecurity, hunger, starvation and poverty.
‘’World Food Program gives US13 per person monthly to all 12,000 refugees. The only challenge is on the increase of the number of people who still will need support in general. We all know, Africa is severely impacted, definitely, we have to give support to them ‘’
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Head in Zimbabwe, David Banda said there is sharp increase in asylum seekers. He added that the need for support is inevitable because Zimbabwe and Mozambique can- not alone solve the problems related to three basic needs families rely on for survival.
‘’The increase in asylum seekers who later become refugees sharply is increasing to 150 every monthly. For Governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, this is a big number to support with three basics, food, shelter and clothing. Apart from, the increase in the number of people compromises on the amount of food to suit the total number in need of support.
‘The increase has been made by conflict challenges in Africa. There are conflicts in these countries. This has been a long time challenge which de-humanised many African communities. Most of them have really found a better place here than where they came from’’, said the Head of UNHCR Office in Zimbabwe.
According to the Head, the increase rose to 5000 people in 2015 to 20,410 people in 2016 and 2017 due to escalating conflicts. The number increases and goes down with time. Some were repatriated in 2017. Still they encountered another sharp increase as some trickled in from Mozambique and DRC .The number now is at 12,000 refugees at the Tongogara Refugee Camp.
Camp Administrator, Johanne Mhlanga said the donations are sustaining families. He said the main power point fact is that, the families lives have been empowered and transformed for community development.